Bee Roots for 2023-08-16

The table provides clues for the roots of words in today's NY Times Spelling Bee. You're responsible for prefixes, suffixes, tense changes, plurals, doubling consonants before suffixes, and alternate spellings of roots. An exception: since Sam won't allow S, when the root contains an S, the clue may be for a plural or suffixed form. "Mice" for example. If a clue isn't self-explanatory, try googling it. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle
  • Letters: M/ADEILV
  • Words: 60
  • Points: 236
  • Pangrams: 1

Table content

  • with first two letters of answer and length
answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
1AI5Point at a target
1AM4Surrounded by, preposition
1DA6Structure that holds back a river, noun/verb (beavers construct small ones)
1DA4Title given to a woman equivalent to the rank of knight (… Olivia de Havilland)
2DE4,6Consider (I … it a great success)
1DI6Jeweled crown or headband worn as a symbol of sovereignty
1DI7Difficult choice between undesirable options
1DI6Faintly lit, adjective/verb
1DI4Coin worth 10 cents
1ED7Green soybeans boiled or steamed in their pods
1ED5Medical term for swelling
2EM5,7Letter sent via the internet (with Outlook?), noun/verb
1IM4Prayer leader at mosque
1LA6Hit hard, or attack, abscure slang (NOT being a fugitive)
1LA4Tibetan Buddhist monk (Dalai …)
2LA4,5Disabled or weak; esp. foot or leg, causing a limp
1LE5Math term for intermediate or helping theorem in a proof
1LI4Peru capital, or bean
2LI4,5Small green citrus fruit
1LI7Drink made from citrus fruit with green skin
1LL5S Am camel
1MA5Term of respect for a ♀, or one who runs a brothel; palindrome
1MA6Form of address to a French-speaking woman (… Bovary)
1MA48 of them were milking in a Xmas carol
2MA4,6Letters you get or send
2MA4,6Permanently injure
1MA4Assemble (Please … dinner tonight; I’m too tired) or force (Oh yeah? … me!), verb
1MA4♂, the sex that produces sperm
1MA4Shopping center with many stores under one roof
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA6Vertebrate class that has hair, milk, & live birth
1ME4Alcoholic drink made from honey
1ME4Breakfast, lunch, or dinner
2ME5,7Inscribed metal disk, usually given as an honor or a prize in a competition, noun/verb (Olympic …)
2ME6,7Interfere without the right to do so (don’t … in my affairs!)
1ME5Mass communication
1ME6Situated near the center, adj.
1ME8relating to the Middle Ages
2ME4,6Combine (Vulcan mind …)
1ME5Confusing scuffle
2ME4,5Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1MI6Between the edges (… of the road)
1MI4Computer music protocol, calf-length skirt, or noon in French
1MI4Not severe (a … case of the flu), or gentle (Clark Kent, the …-mannered reporter)
1MI45,280 feet, or 1.6 km
2MI4,6Wheat or pepper grinder
2MI4,5Silent performer

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It follows in Kevin Davis' footsteps. The original set of 4,500 clues came from him, and they still make up about three quarters of the current clue set.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. As logophiles, we are pretty good at putting on prefixes and suffixes, changing tense, and forming plurals (including Latin plurals!). The clues cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from each root. For example, if a puzzle includes ROAM and ROAMING, there will be a clue for ROAM and a count of 2. The root may not appear in the puzzle at all; for example, the 2021-07-23 Bee included ICED, DEICE, and DEICED. For such a puzzle, the clue would be for ICE with a word count of 3.

The Bee Roots approach involves judgement sometimes. For example, if a puzzle includes LOVE, LOVED, and LOVELY, how many roots are needed to cover them? LOVE and LOVED share the root LOVE, certainly, but LOVELY is tricky. LOVE is part of its etymology, but by now, the word means "exquisitely beautiful," which is a lot farther from the meaning of LOVE than swithcing to past tense. I'm inclined to treat LOVE and LOVELY as separate roots. You may not agree, which is fine. Another thing we logophiles share is a LOVE of arguing about words on Twitter.

A few words can have one meaning as a suffixed form and another as a stand-alone word. EVENING, for example. In those cases I will use the meaning that I think is more common.

One last complication, until another one pops up: a few roots have multiple spellings, for example LOLLYGAG and LALLYGAG. Depending on the day's letters, and maybe even the editor's whims, one or both could be in the puzzle's answer list. With such roots, you could see a word count of 2, even if there are no applicable prefixes or suffixes.

I will do my best to keep this site up to date and helpful (I hope). Check it out, and tweet feedback to @donswartwout Tweet to @donswartwout